Tue, 19 Jan 2021

An expert has warned a second wave of Covid-19 infections will emerge on the African continent if people do not take precautions.

With the number of Covid-19 cases back on the rise in the Eastern and Western Cape, experts said South Africans could not afford to grow tired of preventative measures put in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

The country has been hardest hit by the pandemic on the African continent with some 775 502 confirmed cases and more than 20 000 deaths.

Speaking at a virtual World Health Organisation briefing, Professor Helen Rees, the chairperson of the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA), said Africa would need a vaccine to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

She was part of a dialogue representing South Africa.

READ | Resurgence of Covid-19 in the Western Cape

Otherwise, she added, "we will continue implementing and then relaxing lockdown restrictions, which will only have a further negative impact on our economic and social life".

Rees said vaccines should be a priority for everyone and not just countries who could afford to purchase mass doses for their own citizens.

READ | Covid-19: Eastern Cape responsible for half of new daily infections

"It's in nobody's interest to protect every citizen in one country and then leave many poorer countries without vaccine because you'll never protect every citizen in one country," she added.

With the festive season approaching and most of the lockdown restrictions relaxed, the government has urged South Africans to continue taking precautions, including social distancing, wearing a mask, constant hand-washing and sanitising in order to curb the spread of the virus.

The government has declared five days of mourning in honour of victims of gender-based violence and Covid-19. From 25 to 29 November, the national flag will fly at half-mast.

Source: News24

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